Family Federation founder Sun Myung Moon envisioned a “Peace Road,” an international highway that physically connects people across the world. Roads unite people in trade, culture and travel. Moon believed that uniting people in daily life would extinguish historical fears and misunderstandings that divide the world. Moon suggested the construction of a highway between Korea and Japan, two former enemy countries, in 1981. Beginning in 2005, he advocated for a “Peace Tunnel” across the Bering Strait.
Samoa did its part to carry out Moon’s vision by implementing the Peace Road initiative across the country in August 2015. Moon’s vision focused on the physical connection between cultures; this peace initiative in Samoa can bridge cultural gaps and promote peace throughout the region. Samoa’s 2015 and 2016 Peace Road initiatives focused on Savai’i churches and schools in Salelologa, Sapapali’i, Sili and Puleia.
The Peace Road’s 2015 implementation revolved around several themes:
- Uniting mind and body
- Connecting the youth with the elderly
- Bridging the gap between traditions and new customs
- Reviving old customs to educate the youth
Samoa’s 2017 Peace Road initiative centered on Taufusi Market. Universal Peace Federation Samoa adopted Taufusi Market’s road as their designated “Peace Road” in November 2017. Taufusi Market’s stalls were adorned with colorful banners, drapes and flags.
The Peace Road programs of 2017 included:
- The launch of Youth and Students for Peace at the High Tech Youth Network locations in Vaivase and Avele
- The re-launching of the Women’s Federation for World Peace with a sewing project
Although officially completed in November 2017, Samoa’s Peace Road initiative extended to the January 16 inauguration of the International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace. The addition of the Peace Road to infrastructure in Samoa actualizes the global peace initiative proposed by Moon.
Although it is a new peace initiative in Samoa, the Peace Road in Taufusi Market promotes cultural education and empathy. It continues the global peace initiative undertaken over 35 years ago. Samoa has joined 120 other countries in supporting the annual Peace Road; nearly 62 percent of the world actively supports and promotes world peace.
– Carolyn Gibson